Scatter Properties

Scatter chart appearance and behavior

Scatter properties control the appearance and behavior of Scatter object. By changing property values, you can modify certain aspects of the scatter chart.

Starting in R2014b, you can use dot notation to query and set properties.

s = scatter(1:10,1:10);
m = s.Marker;
s.Marker = '*';

If you are using an earlier release, use the get and set functions instead.

Markers

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Marker symbol, specified as one of the options listed in this table:

ValueDescription
'o'Circle
'+'Plus sign
'*'Asterisk
'.'Point
'x'Cross
'square' or 's'Square
'diamond' or 'd'Diamond
'^'Upward-pointing triangle
'v'Downward-pointing triangle
'>'Right-pointing triangle
'<'Left-pointing triangle
'pentagram' or 'p'Five-pointed star (pentagram)
'hexagram' or 'h'Six-pointed star (hexagram)
'none'No markers

Width of marker edge, specified as a positive value in point units.

Example: 0.75

Marker outline color, specified 'flat', an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, a color name, or a short name. The default value of 'flat' uses colors from the CData property.

For a custom color, specify an RGB triplet or a hexadecimal color code.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7].

  • A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (#) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from 0 to F. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes '#FF8800', '#ff8800', '#F80', and '#f80' are equivalent.

Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.

Color NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'red''r'[1 0 0]'#FF0000'

'green''g'[0 1 0]'#00FF00'

'blue''b'[0 0 1]'#0000FF'

'cyan' 'c'[0 1 1]'#00FFFF'

'magenta''m'[1 0 1]'#FF00FF'

'yellow''y'[1 1 0]'#FFFF00'

'black''k'[0 0 0]'#000000'

'white''w'[1 1 1]'#FFFFFF'

'none'Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNo color

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB® uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[0 0.4470 0.7410]'#0072BD'

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Example: [0.5 0.5 0.5]

Example: 'blue'

Example: '#D2F9A7'

Marker fill color, specified as 'flat', 'auto', an RGB triplet, a hexadecimal color code, a color name, or a short name. The 'flat' option uses the CData values. The 'auto' option uses the same color as the Color property for the axes.

For a custom color, specify an RGB triplet or a hexadecimal color code.

  • An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1]; for example, [0.4 0.6 0.7].

  • A hexadecimal color code is a character vector or a string scalar that starts with a hash symbol (#) followed by three or six hexadecimal digits, which can range from 0 to F. The values are not case sensitive. Thus, the color codes '#FF8800', '#ff8800', '#F80', and '#f80' are equivalent.

Alternatively, you can specify some common colors by name. This table lists the named color options, the equivalent RGB triplets, and hexadecimal color codes.

Color NameShort NameRGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
'red''r'[1 0 0]'#FF0000'

'green''g'[0 1 0]'#00FF00'

'blue''b'[0 0 1]'#0000FF'

'cyan' 'c'[0 1 1]'#00FFFF'

'magenta''m'[1 0 1]'#FF00FF'

'yellow''y'[1 1 0]'#FFFF00'

'black''k'[0 0 0]'#000000'

'white''w'[1 1 1]'#FFFFFF'

'none'Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNo color

Here are the RGB triplets and hexadecimal color codes for the default colors MATLAB uses in many types of plots.

RGB TripletHexadecimal Color CodeAppearance
[0 0.4470 0.7410]'#0072BD'

[0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]'#D95319'

[0.9290 0.6940 0.1250]'#EDB120'

[0.4940 0.1840 0.5560]'#7E2F8E'

[0.4660 0.6740 0.1880]'#77AC30'

[0.3010 0.7450 0.9330]'#4DBEEE'

[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840]'#A2142F'

Example: [0.3 0.2 0.1]

Example: 'green'

Example: '#D2F9A7'

Marker edge transparency, specified as a scalar in the range [0,1]. A value of 1 is opaque and 0 is completely transparent. Values between 0 and 1 are semitransparent.

Example: s.MarkerEdgeAlpha = 0.5;

Marker face transparency, specified as a scalar in the range [0,1]. A value of 1 is opaque and 0 is completely transparent. Values between 0 and 1 are semitransparent.

Example: s.MarkerFaceAlpha = 0.5;

Color and Size Data

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Marker colors, specified as one of these values:

  • RGB triplet — Use the same color for all the markers in the plot. An RGB triplet is a three-element row vector whose elements specify the intensities of the red, green, and blue components of the color. The intensities must be in the range [0,1], for example, [0.5 0.6 0.7].

  • Three-column matrix of RGB triplets — Use a different color for each marker in the plot. Each row of the matrix defines one color. The number of rows must equal the number of markers.

  • Vector — Use a different color for each marker in the plot. Specify CData as a vector the same length as XData. Linearly map the values in the vector to the colors in the current colormap.

Example: [1 0 0; 0 1 0; 0 0 1]

Control how the CData property is set, specified as one of these values:

  • 'auto' — MATLAB controls the value of the CData property by selecting a single color from the ColorOrder property of the axes.

  • 'manual' — You control the value of the CData property manually, either by specifying a color when you call scatter or scatter3, or by setting the CData property on the Scatter object after creating it.

If you change the value of the CData property manually, MATLAB changes the value of the CDataMode property to 'manual'.

Variable linked to CData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the CData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the CData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Marker sizes, specified in one of these forms:

  • Scalar — Use the same size for all of the markers.

  • Vector — Use a different size for each marker. Specify SizeData as a vector the same length as XData.

Specify the values in point units, where one point equals 1/72 inch. To specify a marker that has an area of one square inch, use a value of 72^2.

Example: 50

Variable linked to SizeData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the SizeData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the SizeData values. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Cartesian Coordinate Data

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x values, specified as a scalar or a vector. The scatter plot displays an individual marker for each value in XData.

The input argument X to the scatter and scatter3 functions set the x values. XData and YData must have equal lengths.

Example: [1 2 4 2 6]

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | categorical | datetime | duration

Variable linked to XData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the XData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the XData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Example: 'x'

y values, specified as a scalar or a vector. The scatter plot displays an individual marker for each value in YData.

The input argument Y to the scatter and scatter3 functions set the y values. XData and YData must have equal lengths.

Example: [1 3 3 4 6]

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | categorical | datetime | duration

Variable linked to YData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the YData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the YData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Example: 'y'

z values, specified as a scalar or a vector.

  • For 2-D scatter plots, ZData is empty by default.

  • For 3-D scatter plots, the input argument Z to the scatter3 function sets the z values. XData, YData, and ZData must have equal lengths.

Example: [1 2 2 1 0]

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | int64 | uint8 | uint16 | uint32 | uint64 | categorical | datetime | duration

Variable linked to ZData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the ZData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the ZData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

Example: 'z'

Polar Coordinate Data

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Radius values, specified as a vector. ThetaData and RData must be vectors of equal length.

This property applies only to polar axes.

Variable linked to RData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the RData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the RData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

This property applies only to polar axes.

Angle values, specified as a vector. ThetaData and RData must be vectors of equal length.

This property applies only to polar axes.

Variable linked to ThetaData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the RData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, then MATLAB does not update the ThetaData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

This property applies only to polar axes.

Geographic Coordinate Data

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Latitude values, specified as a vector. LatitudeData and LongitudeData must be vectors of equal length.

This property applies only to geographic axes.

Variable linked to LatitudeData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the RData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, MATLAB does not update the LatitudeData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

This property applies only to geographic axes.

Longitude values, specified as a vector. LongitudeData and LatitudeData must be vectors of equal length.

This property applies only to geographic axes.

Variable linked to LongitudeData, specified as a character vector or string containing a MATLAB workspace variable name. MATLAB evaluates the variable in the base workspace to generate the RData.

By default, there is no linked variable so the value is an empty character vector, ''. If you link a variable, MATLAB does not update the LatitudeData values immediately. To force an update of the data values, use the refreshdata function.

Note

If you change one data source property to a variable that contains data of a different dimension, you might cause the function to generate a warning and not render the graph until you have changed all data source properties to appropriate values.

This property applies only to geographic axes.

Legend

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Legend label, specified as a character vector or string scalar. The legend does not display until you call the legend command. If you do not specify the text, then legend sets the label using the form 'dataN'.

This property is read-only.

Control for including or excluding the object from a legend, returned as an Annotation object. Set the underlying IconDisplayStyle property to one of these values:

  • 'on' — Include the object in the legend (default).

  • 'off' — Do not include the object in the legend.

For example, to exclude a graphics object, go, from the legend set the IconDisplayStyle property to 'off'.

go.Annotation.LegendInformation.IconDisplayStyle = 'off';

Alternatively, you can control the items in a legend using the legend function. Specify the first input argument as a vector of the graphics objects to include. If you do not specify an existing graphics object in the first input argument, then it does not appear in the legend. However, graphics objects added to the axes after the legend is created do appear in the legend. Consider creating the legend after creating all the plots to avoid extra items.

Interactivity

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State of visibility, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Display the object.

  • 'off' — Hide the object without deleting it. You still can access the properties of an invisible object.

Data tip content, specified as a DataTipTemplate object. You can control the content that appears in a data tip by modifying the properties of the underlying DataTipTemplate object. For a list of properties, see DataTipTemplate Properties.

For an example of modifying data tips, see Create Custom Data Tips.

Note

The DataTipTemplate object is not returned by findobj or findall, and it is not copied by copyobj.

Context menu, specified as a ContextMenu object. Use this property to display a context menu when you right-click the object. Create the context menu using the uicontextmenu function.

Note

If the PickableParts property is set to 'none' or if the HitTest property is set to 'off', then the context menu does not appear.

Selection state, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Selected. If you click the object when in plot edit mode, then MATLAB sets its Selected property to 'on'. If the SelectionHighlight property also is set to 'on', then MATLAB displays selection handles around the object.

  • 'off' — Not selected.

Display of selection handles when selected, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Display selection handles when the Selected property is set to 'on'.

  • 'off' — Never display selection handles, even when the Selected property is set to 'on'.

Clipping of the object to the axes limits, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Do not display parts of the object that are outside the axes limits.

  • 'off' — Display the entire object, even if parts of it appear outside the axes limits. Parts of the object might appear outside the axes limits if you create a plot, set hold on, freeze the axis scaling, and then create the object so that it is larger than the original plot.

The Clipping property of the axes that contains the object must be set to 'on'. Otherwise, this property has no effect. For more information about the clipping behavior, see the Clipping property of the axes.

Callbacks

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Mouse-click callback, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle

  • Cell array containing a function handle and additional arguments

  • Character vector that is a valid MATLAB command or function, which is evaluated in the base workspace (not recommended)

Use this property to execute code when you click the object. If you specify this property using a function handle, then MATLAB passes two arguments to the callback function when executing the callback:

  • Clicked object — Access properties of the clicked object from within the callback function.

  • Event data — Empty argument. Replace it with the tilde character (~) in the function definition to indicate that this argument is not used.

For more information on how to use function handles to define callback functions, see Callback Definition.

Note

If the PickableParts property is set to 'none' or if the HitTest property is set to 'off', then this callback does not execute.

Object creation function, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle.

  • Cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • Character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

For more information about specifying a callback as a function handle, cell array, or character vector, see Callback Definition.

This property specifies a callback function to execute when MATLAB creates the object. MATLAB initializes all property values before executing the CreateFcn callback. If you do not specify the CreateFcn property, then MATLAB executes a default creation function.

Setting the CreateFcn property on an existing component has no effect.

If you specify this property as a function handle or cell array, you can access the object that is being created using the first argument of the callback function. Otherwise, use the gcbo function to access the object.

Object deletion function, specified as one of these values:

  • Function handle.

  • Cell array in which the first element is a function handle. Subsequent elements in the cell array are the arguments to pass to the callback function.

  • Character vector containing a valid MATLAB expression (not recommended). MATLAB evaluates this expression in the base workspace.

For more information about specifying a callback as a function handle, cell array, or character vector, see Callback Definition.

This property specifies a callback function to execute when MATLAB deletes the object. MATLAB executes the DeleteFcn callback before destroying the properties of the object. If you do not specify the DeleteFcn property, then MATLAB executes a default deletion function.

If you specify this property as a function handle or cell array, you can access the object that is being deleted using the first argument of the callback function. Otherwise, use the gcbo function to access the object.

Callback Execution Control

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Callback interruption, specified as 'on' or 'off'. The Interruptible property determines if a running callback can be interrupted.

There are two callback states to consider:

  • The running callback is the currently executing callback.

  • The interrupting callback is a callback that tries to interrupt the running callback.

Whenever MATLAB invokes a callback, that callback attempts to interrupt the running callback (if one exists). The Interruptible property of the object owning the running callback determines if interruption is allowed. The Interruptible property has two possible values:

  • 'on' — Allows other callbacks to interrupt the object's callbacks. The interruption occurs at the next point where MATLAB processes the queue, such as when there is a drawnow, figure, uifigure, getframe, waitfor, or pause command.

    • If the running callback contains one of those commands, then MATLAB stops the execution of the callback at that point and executes the interrupting callback. MATLAB resumes executing the running callback when the interrupting callback completes.

    • If the running callback does not contain one of those commands, then MATLAB finishes executing the callback without interruption.

  • 'off' — Blocks all interruption attempts. The BusyAction property of the object owning the interrupting callback determines if the interrupting callback is discarded or put into a queue.

Note

Callback interruption and execution behave differently in these situations:

  • If the interrupting callback is a DeleteFcn, CloseRequestFcn or SizeChangedFcn callback, then the interruption occurs regardless of the Interruptible property value.

  • If the running callback is currently executing the waitfor function, then the interruption occurs regardless of the Interruptible property value.

  • Timer objects execute according to schedule regardless of the Interruptible property value.

When an interruption occurs, MATLAB does not save the state of properties or the display. For example, the object returned by the gca or gcf command might change when another callback executes.

Callback queuing, specified as 'queue' or 'cancel'. The BusyAction property determines how MATLAB handles the execution of interrupting callbacks. There are two callback states to consider:

  • The running callback is the currently executing callback.

  • The interrupting callback is a callback that tries to interrupt the running callback.

Whenever MATLAB invokes a callback, that callback attempts to interrupt a running callback. The Interruptible property of the object owning the running callback determines if interruption is permitted. If interruption is not permitted, then the BusyAction property of the object owning the interrupting callback determines if it is discarded or put in the queue. These are possible values of the BusyAction property:

  • 'queue' — Puts the interrupting callback in a queue to be processed after the running callback finishes execution.

  • 'cancel' — Does not execute the interrupting callback.

Ability to capture mouse clicks, specified as one of these values:

  • 'visible' — Capture mouse clicks when visible. The Visible property must be set to 'on' and you must click a part of the Scatter object that has a defined color. You cannot click a part that has an associated color property set to 'none'. If the plot contains markers, then the entire marker is clickable if either the edge or the fill has a defined color. The HitTest property determines if the Scatter object responds to the click or if an ancestor does.

  • 'none' — Cannot capture mouse clicks. Clicking the Scatter object passes the click to the object below it in the current view of the figure window. The HitTest property of the Scatter object has no effect.

Response to captured mouse clicks, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Trigger the ButtonDownFcn callback of the Scatter object. If you have defined the UIContextMenu property, then invoke the context menu.

  • 'off' — Trigger the callbacks for the nearest ancestor of the Scatter object that has one of these:

    • HitTest property set to 'on'

    • PickableParts property set to a value that enables the ancestor to capture mouse clicks

Note

The PickableParts property determines if the Scatter object can capture mouse clicks. If it cannot, then the HitTest property has no effect.

This property is read-only.

Deletion status, returned as 'off' or 'on'. MATLAB sets the BeingDeleted property to 'on' when the DeleteFcn callback begins execution. The BeingDeleted property remains set to 'on' until the component object no longer exists.

Check the value of the BeingDeleted property to verify that the object is not about to be deleted before querying or modifying it.

Parent/Child

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Parent, specified as an Axes, PolarAxes, Group, or Transform object.

Children, returned as an empty GraphicsPlaceholder array or a DataTip object array. Use this property to view a list of data tips that are plotted on the chart.

You cannot add or remove children using the Children property. To add a child to this list, set the Parent property of the DataTip object to the chart object.

Visibility of the object handle in the Children property of the parent, specified as one of these values:

  • 'on' — Object handle is always visible.

  • 'off' — Object handle is invisible at all times. This option is useful for preventing unintended changes by another function. Set the HandleVisibility to 'off' to temporarily hide the handle during the execution of that function.

  • 'callback' — Object handle is visible from within callbacks or functions invoked by callbacks, but not from within functions invoked from the command line. This option blocks access to the object at the command line, but permits callback functions to access it.

If the object is not listed in the Children property of the parent, then functions that obtain object handles by searching the object hierarchy or querying handle properties cannot return it. Examples of such functions include the get, findobj, gca, gcf, gco, newplot, cla, clf, and close functions.

Hidden object handles are still valid. Set the root ShowHiddenHandles property to 'on' to list all object handles regardless of their HandleVisibility property setting.

Identifiers

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This property is read-only.

Type of graphics object, returned as 'scatter'. Use this property to find all objects of a given type within a plotting hierarchy, for example, searching for the type using findobj.

Object identifier, specified as a character vector or string scalar. You can specify a unique Tag value to serve as an identifier for an object. When you need access to the object elsewhere in your code, you can use the findobj function to search for the object based on the Tag value.

User data, specified as any MATLAB array. For example, you can specify a scalar, vector, matrix, cell array, character array, table, or structure. Use this property to store arbitrary data on an object.

If you are working in App Designer, create public or private properties in the app to share data instead of using the UserData property. For more information, see Share Data Within App Designer Apps.

Introduced before R2006a